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UNLAWFUL MARRIAGE.

by the Lawgiver to turn away the bearing of his law upon the marriage in question; which, by a fair construction, manifestly, and in various aspects of it, prohibits this marriage? We are compelled to believe that it was not introduced for such a purpose. It was, we conceive, designed, not to mark the time during which it was unlawful to marry a sister-in-law; for the unlawfulness of such a marriage had been previously settled in the law; but to set forth before the Jews, who were accustomed to regard polygamy as lawful, the injustice and cruelty of marrying two sisters; because the marriage of the second would be a source of vexation and unhappiness to the first wife as long as she lived.

This case is entirely different from that of a brother marrying the widow of his brother who had died without issue; for, although the law before us had, in the 16th verse, forbidden a man to marry his brother's wife, yet afterwards, by an express enactment of the Lawgiver, couched in terms not to be misunderstood, this case was excepted; and it became obligatory on a brother in the circumstances specified, to marry his brother's widow, that he might raise up seed to him.